“I Felt Like I Was Drawing A Tumor”: “Legion” Artist On Sketching Steve Bannon

The comic artist has been channeling his frustration in ongoing political rants.

“I Felt Like I Was Drawing A Tumor”: “Legion” Artist On Sketching Steve Bannon
[Illustration: Bill Sienkiewicz]

Bill Sienkiewicz is used to getting reactions to the spontaneous portraits of headline makers he posts on social media. But yesterday’s one of Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon tapped a collective agony.


“I think I hit a nerve with this one. It’s already gotten thousands of comments and shares,” he says.

“Monday Morning Cirrhosis. I felt like I was drawing a tumor,” read his accompanying Twitter post. His Facebook page announced Bannon’s mug with, “Drunken Wormtongue in Chief. After drawing Trump numerous times, I gotta say doing Bannon felt like I was drawing with a cirrhotic swollen pen. He’s just ugly on every level.”

Between assignments, Sienkiewicz blows out the creative cobwebs with spontaneous late-night sketches honoring casts of favorite shows, like Breaking Bad and Deadwood, and notable people who passed away.

But the psychosis of the election and new administration has Sienkiewicz turning more frequently to political commentary. Often, his fans respond by reposting his past comic artwork that lends itself to the current climate.

“Now it’s about getting rid of my anger and frustration rather than carrying it around all day,” he says. “Trump lends himself to ridicule, but Bannon was less about drawing his likeness than my revulsion of him. I felt like I was channeling how ugly he is. It was already there, and I just had to scrape it off the guts of the universe.”

About the author

Susan Karlin is an award-winning journalist in Los Angeles, covering the nexus of science, technology, and arts, with a fondness for sci-fi and comics. She's a regular contributor to Fast Company, NPR, and IEEE Spectrum, and has written for Newsweek, Forbes, Wired, Scientific American, Discover, NY and London Times, and BBC Radio.